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New Year’s Recipes (2)

Straightforward simple carrot cake. Still the subject of a classic joke in the Netherlands (“vies hé?”).

Non-straightforward is my latest proposal for fixing the issue of decades once and for all. Obviously the year 1 AD started on December 25th, 4 AD, as calculated by the best scholars. So 10 years later is December 25th, 14 AD. But — and this is important — on September 2nd, 1752, 11 days were skipped, so the end of the 175th decade isn’t December 25th, 1754 AD but 11 days later, on January 5th. It’s a good thing the reform of the Roman calendar under Julius Caesar was done before 1 AD, or we would have to shift by two months to compensate for the newly created January and February, as well. So remember, we can celebrate the last day of the decade in just 1460 days.

One and a half cup grated carrot. Three quarters of a cup of sugar (I use cane sugar). One tbsp. “koek en speculaaskruiden” or an equivalent mixture of cloves and cinnamon. Pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly, then stir in two eggs and half a cup of cooking oil (sunflower or corn oil). Whisk with a fork until foamy. Mix in one and a half cup self-raising flour (or plain flour 1 tsp. double-acting baking powder per cup of flour). Pour into a bread pan (what are the sizes on those things anyway?) and bake at 160C for 40 minutes or until a fork comes out clean. Frost with icing sugar and mascarpone or cream cheese.

Optionally you could add raisins or nuts, but I usually do not: the kids and neighbours don’t like them, and whenever I end up baking I make too much and give away plenty all ’round.

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